She counted the scars on me while I pretended to count the city lights to distract myself from her touch. She says smile is the ailment to all the pain we have within ourselves. So I always smile at her with broken, stitched lips with the hope that may be my smile heals her pain like her smile heals mine. I had lost all faith in worldly relationships until I met her. It all made sense at once. All the great loses I have had in life is worth this one win I have in the facade of a best friend. No, it isn’t love attraction. Neither are we love struck. We are pain struck like so many people of this generation. We are just lucky enough for this once in life that we connected to each other like each nerve of mine connected to hers. I had believed someone could understand me only if they had my mindset but she came throwing reality onto me like a rock. She said its not the mentality that connects, its the stories that do. I had believed scars only rot us as a person and she showed me how scars could beautify us as a person. I was taught to keep my things to myself and be insecure of what I have. She comes off as a person, I want to let free and still be secured of having her for a lifetime. I believe its our pain that found each other so we could share it with each other. She is a mind of infinity talking about destinies.
The marbles don’t just smell of grandeur, the lofty pillars don’t stand in pride, the huge dome doesn’t speak of opulence and this place doesn’t feel like religion.
These pillars, they smell of the hands of the artists who embellished its pieces. They stand tall for the champions who struggled for its stones and bricks. They echo of the sigh of the refugees whose soul found console in its shed and of the wanderer who found faith on its step.
These pillars, they speak of beauty. They speak of spirituality. They speak of simplicity accentuated by twenty years of people’s contribution.
That’s what it took to build Masjid-e-Rashdiya, a mosque at Darul Uloom, Uttar Pradesh. Twenty years of unprecedented dedication and hardwork.
I remember the song the drops played on my pane. The song, I recalled, it used to play before the hands scuffled them. Hitting the right keys, the soft sounds pulsating in the stillness, waking me from my sullen reverie. And I felt it then, the sudden cry and the rushing embrace. That hasty warm embrace. I remember I breathed it in when my lungs tried vehemently to breathe all my soul out. I remember it staring at me when I opened my eyes back to light.
I let the string loose, stepped down from the stool. I went closer to the music and the warm embrace.
I smelled life for once again and it felt good.
मैंने देखें हैं वो मुस्कुराते ख्वाबों को खिड़की की जाली से झाँकते हुऐ। इस बंद खिडक़ी पर उनके नारों की खटखटाहट मुझे पुकारते हुऐ, “ये वक़्त अज़ादी माँगता है!”
इस वक़्त के सामने आने में मुझे डर लगता है। ये वक़्त आक्रोष से घुर्राता है,कभी बौखला सा जाता है,कभी नफरत के जुनून में ख़ून ख़ून हो जाता है। फिर अपने करतूतों की सफाई मेरे नाम से देता है।
“आज़ादी के नाम पर.” मैंने सुना उसको कहते हुए।
मुझे रहने दो छुपे इस खिड़की की आड़ में; ऐसे वक़्त के हवाले अपने आप को करने से मुझे डर लगता है।
I have seen those Hopes peeking through the latticed screen, smiling at me. I have heard their ardent cry knocking on my closed window, calling out to me, “This Time wants Freedom”
But I am afraid; afraid to face this Time. The Time which is growling with rage, sometimes running wild with insanity, drugged with hatred and draped in blood. And after all this, It will cleanse itself adhering my name with it.
“In the name of Freedom.” I heard It said.For that, let me stay hidden behind these closed windows. I am afraid to surrender myself to the Time you are in.